Today in Russian Business – Sept 10, 2010

Attendees are applauding the openness of Yaroslavl’s two-day forum on ‘The Modern State‘, which has already heard outspoken criticisms from opposition leaders, including a call from Yabloko for Dmitry Medvedev to fight the rule of Vladimir Putin, a denouncement of Russian democracy from Right Cause, and comments from the head of the CSTO about dealing with terrorism.  President Medvedev will join the forum today, with Bloomberg calling this his ‘last chance‘ to lay out his vision for Russia.  Sberbank chief German Gref has high hopes for the Yaroslavl ‘brand.  Analysts suggest that the Kremlin’s reported estimates on the country’s grain holdings are ‘far less‘ than real supplies, which are thought to be around 17-20 million tons: ‘We do not see the 26-odd million tons … and the market does not see them either.‘  The NBA is expanding its presence in Russia with a Moscow office. ‘Advertising on sidewalks has mushroomed in Moscow over the past year.‘  VTB Capital sees potential for expansion of investment banking and ‘long-term partnership‘ in Ukraine.  The Defense Ministry has no plans to buy ‘large volumes of finished [arms] products abroad,‘ because it is pushing to develop them at home.  An India-Russia joint venture has been set up to manufacture 205 military planes (30% of which will be for export), with facilities in both countries.  The director of Prosperity Capital Management, one of Russia’s biggest overseas investors, says the country’s corporate governance ‘has improved…but when someone really wants to break the rules, unfortunately they can do it.‘  The chairman of Lesprombank has been shot dead in Moscow.